Using your anxiety to boost productivity

If you suffer from anxiety, try using it to boost productivity with these tips.

Anxiety is tied to our survival instinct. It is entirely natural to worry over the future, but when it gets out of hand or hinders our performance in our job or regular life, we have a problem. In time, you might be able to learn how to use your anxiety in a positive way to boost productivity. Here’s how:

Accept anxiety as a fact

Learning to better manage anxiety may come down to being more accepting of it. Anxiety is a normal reaction everyone goes through so it is important to try to understand it.

Mind map

Creating a mind map of your anxieties can be cathartic. It could help you release some of your worries you’ve bottled up over time, which can offer instant relief. Mind mapping often gives you an objective overview of your thoughts, allowing you to really understand why your anxiety is getting out of hand.

Is it a productive or unproductive worry?

We can have both productive and unproductive worries. An unproductive worry cannot be helped by anything we can do. An example could be the current financial climate or simply a mistake a friend has made which you have no control over.

A productive worry is something you can help by figuring out how to solve the problems that leads to the anxiety. For example, you could be worrying about failing at a job interview. Firstly, acknowledge this worry and then take steps to alleviate it. Actively researching the company, and practising general interview questions with a friend can help in this situation. Taking these sorts of active steps to alleviate your anxiety issues can improve your performance.

Use anxiety as an energy boost

According to Steve Orma, a San Francisco-based psychologist, anxiety gives you an adrenaline and energy rush. You can focus that energy on improving your performance on tasks. Professional athletes get this sort of feeling before events, but they try to channel it to improve their performance.

Give yourself a break

If anxiety over a situation or decision is really hampering your mood, take a step back and return to it later. Continuously fretting about the decision you are thinking about making can be counterproductive. Instead, try to walk away from it, sleep on it, or focus on something else. When you come back to the situation you will feel refreshed and might be able to figure out an answer from a different angle.

If you feel you could benefit from a little help when dealing with anxiety, you may want to consult a life coach. Find a coach in your area using our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Fast Company article.

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Written by Ross East
Written by Ross East
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